South Carolina passed a bill banning almost all abortions in the state on Wednesday.
The legislation overwhelmingly passed the state House after being approved by the Senate last month, according to The Associated Press.
Republican Gov. Henry McMaster has promised to sign the bill as soon as he can.
McMaster has called the bill “the most comprehensive pro-life legislation our state has ever seen.”
We will keep pushing until the Fetal Heartbeat Bill reaches my desk and I will immediately sign it into law!
— Gov. Henry McMaster (@henrymcmaster) January 28, 2021
The Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act would require testing for a heartbeat before an abortion can be performed and would ban abortions if the unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected.
The bill, which allows exceptions in cases of rape and incest, would not punish the mother for getting an illegal abortion but would hold the person who performed the abortion liable.
During a news conference on Wednesday, McMaster called the bill “one of the most pro-life in the country. ”
“It’s a good step forward,” he added.
Most Democratic lawmakers walked out of the chamber in protest during debate over the bill on Wednesday.
“Maybe I missed some of your pro-life comments on Jan. 6 when five people were killed,” Democratic state Rep. Gilda Cobb Hunter said.
“You love the fetus in the womb. But when it is born, it’s a different reaction,” she said.
Pro-abortion activists have condemned the bill. The Women’s March condemned South Carolina lawmakers for passing a pro-life bill rather than focusing on coronavirus relief.
“South Carolina’s first bill of 2021 isn’t COVID-19 relief,” the Women’s March tweeted. “It’s a near-total ban on abortion. … We must fight back.”
South Carolina’s first bill of 2021 isn’t COVID-19 relief. It’s a near-total ban on abortion.
The bill would disproportionately impact young people, women, and people of color—and require nonconsensual transvaginal ultrasounds to detect fetal heartbeats.
We must fight back. https://t.co/857zGvzDlZ
— Women’s March (@womensmarch) February 10, 2021
The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List praised the bill’s passage in a Wednesday statement.
“There is a growing momentum to protect life, grounded in science and compassion, by recognizing the humanity of unborn boys and girls,” SBAL president Marjorie Dannenfelser said.
“South Carolina lawmakers are acting on the will of the people in their state who want to protect life and to ensure women have true knowledge of the developing child within them.”
McMaster’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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